Principal Investigator

Dr. Alexandre Orthwein is a principal investigator at the Segal Cancer Centre within the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI) at the Jewish General Hospital. He is currently an assistant professor appointed in the Department of Oncology and an associate member of both the Division of Experimental Medicine and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University.

Dr. Orthwein is originally from Alsace, France where he completed his undergraduate studies at the University Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg, France). He immigrated to Canada in 2005 where he obtained a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Montreal. There, he developed a strong interest in B-cell biology and hematological malignancies by studying a critical mutagenic enzyme called Activation Induced Deaminase (AID) in the laboratory of Dr. Javier M. Di Noia at the IRCM (Montreal, Canada).

Alexandre Orthwein, M.Sc, Ph.D

Investigator, Lady Davis Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, McGill University

He subsequently joined the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Durocher at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (Toronto, Canada) for his postdoctoral training. There, he investigated the interplay between the cell cycle and the signaling/repair of DNA double-strand breaks, the most cytotoxic DNA lesions. In 2014, he became the recipient of the Young Canadian Cell Biologist of the Year awarded by the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences (CSMB).

Since his appointment at the LDI/McGill University, Dr. Orthwein’s research program aims at deciphering how DNA repair pathways are controlled during B-cell development to allow for enough genetic diversity during antibody diversification and the establishment of a protective immunity while preventing the emergence of B-cell malignancies. His research team uses cutting-edge technologies including genome editing technologies, proteomics and single-cell transcriptomic approaches to tackle this complex and significant knowledge gap.


Steven Findlay

PhD Student

Research Interests: I am interested in both the pathobiology and treatment of multiple myeloma as well as DNA damage signaling and repair.

Personal Interests: I enjoy anything sports related including outdoor activities! Always on the lookout for good food, drinks, and music.

Maja Jankovic

PhD Student

Research Interests: I am interested in the pathobiology and treatment of hematopoietic malignancies, especially in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). I am using CRISPR/Cas9 to identify novel growth dependencies in murine AML models in vivo.

Personal Interests: I enjoy running, traveling, good restaurants, and baking 🙂

John Heath

PhD Student

Research Interests: I am interested in the chromatin-based regulation of the double-stranded DNA break response, and the role for such modulation in cancer development and treatment.

Personal Interests: Usually seen with an empty pint glass, or en route to a full one. Also, quite fond of the sunshine.

Edgar Pinedo-Carpio

PhD Student

Research Interest: I am interested in genome instability and how defects in DDR pathways play a role in lymphomagenesis and drug resistance.

Personal Interest: Reading, playing soccer, BBQing and having fun with family & friends. Always down for a good pint of IPA.

Arash Samiei

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: My research interests include discovering novel players in DNA repair and understanding how they contribute to cancer biology.

Personal Interests: I like to spend my time cooking and eating a variety of delicious foods.While going out for hikes when the summer comes around.

Dr. Estelle Simo Cheyou

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Research Interest: Understanding the role of RAD51 paralog complex in the maintenance of genome stability and in the pathobiology of breast/ovarian cancers.

Personal Interest: I enjoy red wine, long walks outdoor, spy tv shows, and babysitting.

Mingyi Vincent Luo

PhD Student

Research Interests: My project focuses on B cells and their trafficking into and out of secondary lymphoid organs. I am also interested in understanding factors that are involved in DNA repair during class switch recombination.

Personal Interests: I love classical music, skiing and sipping coffee over a good book!

Former Team Members
Manon Lépine

Lab Manager

Dr. Oded Raban


Dr. Abba Malina (2016-2019)

Post-doctoral fellow

Alice Xue (2017-2019)

Undergraduate student

After completing her undergraduate studies at McGill, Alice enrolled in the graduate program of the Department of Molecular Genetics at University of Toronto.

Dr. Elise Gaudreau-Lavoie (2017-2018)

Lab Manager

Elise decided to move with her family to Quebec City and is currently working in the laboratory of Dr. Fradet-Turcotte at the CHUQ (Laval University)

Jahanara Rajwani (2016-2017)

Undergraduate student

After finishing her undergraduate studies at McGill, Jahanara enrolled in the graduate program of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Calgary.

Damien Grapton (2016-2017)

Lab Manager

Damien decided to change carrier path and is currently working as a journalist at Radio-Canada. You can follow his work on Twitter at: